Actually, I lied. There are two things:

The first is moderation. Consider alcohol, America's favorite drug of all time. Having the occasional beer or cocktail is pretty innocuous. Even having a drink daily is not a terrible thing--in fact, it may be healthier than not. But if you reach the point where you're slugging down a fifth of vodka on a regular basis, you may have a problem.

This concept can be extended to other drugs. Many hard-working, honest, upstanding citizens occasionally enjoy smoking pot or dabbling in psychedelics. Contrary to what the government would have you believe, one puff on a joint will not turn you into a ravening marijuana-crazed zombie. Nor will one hit of acid or line of coke necessarily break your brain forever. The drug laws draw no distinction between use and abuse of drugs, but you should be able to. For the straight dope (pun intended) on the fine line between fun and dangerous, as well as plenty more useful information, look at or

Especially with psychedelics, if you take drugs too often they get boring. This is another good reason to limit your intake. Do your brain a favor and give it time off between doses of whatever you like to take.

The other thing to remember is sociability. Many drugs (particularly alcohol, marijuana and Ecstacy) are excellent social lubricants. Psychedelics are often more interesting to take with your friends, because you can compare notes during the experience. Your friends can also act as a "reality check" to help you keep dosage and frequency low. And if you get into the habit of regularly taking drugs alone, you most likely have already put an inanimate substance ahead of your friends and loved ones.

This is not to say that you should never take them alone. DXM, for instance, often lends itself to solitary exploration of the brain's undocumented capabilities. And sometimes it is desirable to take GHB or Xanax to induce sleep rapidly. But you should not make a regular habit of it.

Keeping these two points in mind, here are a few suggestions I've derived from them:

  • Stay away from heroin and cocaine, as they are most likely to lead to solitary and frequent abuse (not to mention that they can be efficient ways to fuck yourself up permanently).
  • When you take drugs, make an occasion out of it. Throw a party, or go with your friends to someplace pleasant and peaceful where you can run around like maniacs and not get in trouble.
  • Use the "buddy system," where you and a friend agree to keep an eye on each other and speak up if you become concerned about the other.

Good luck, and enjoy!

update: After the death of Peter McWilliams, I've changed my mind. The most important thing to remember if you decide to do drugs is not to get caught.

Thanks to Zeolite for useful advice.

No matter what you take, or in what quantity, you simply can not fly. I can not stress this enough, do not attempt to fly, it won't work.

No matter what the leprachaun says don't touch the flowers on the stove. They might look pretty with their blueish orange color but thay can hurt.

Have a friend around when you try anything for the first time. They should be sober also.

Avoid hardcore drugs. Any opiate is bad and highly addictive. Many people have fucked up their lives because of it. Also stuff like valium is bad. Strong prescription drugs shouldn't be fucked with. I know people who have gone into a coma trying to quit valium and have almost died. They were so delirious that they shot holes in their walls. It's like a like 3 day nightmare ending with coma/death usually.

Inhalants are also pretty bad. You can easily die the first time and there is no way to predict what might happen. Inhaling gas fumes is never a good idea. The only exception to this might be nitrous although you're still cutting off oxygen to your brain. Inhalants are almost as dangerous and are alot less predictable than crack or heroin.

Don't be stupid. Pick a place where you won't be bugged/caught. Going to your local Mcdonald's while tripping on acid is bad. The cops won't except "Sorry officer, if i hadn't just smoked that huge bowl this wouldn't have happened." as an excuse.

When you pass 18 getting caught is really bad. Juveniles have the advantage of being able to get off with a fine or community service. After 18 you spend time in jail. No if's, and's or but's. If you want to try drugs, do it before your 18.

The most important thing to remember if you decide to do drugs is this: there are certain people you have to be sure to avoid.

Avoid being around anyone who has never done drugs unless you are 100% sure ahead of time that they are really cool about it. If you can find someone like that hang on to them because they're your ride home.

Avoid being around anyone who suffers from manic depression or is otherwise a downer because they'll just insure you a bad trip. Unless of course you suffer from manic depression. Birds of a feather and all that, but you might seriously want to reconsider doing drugs until you've looked into treating your condition. Unless of course you like morbid bad trips.

Avoid being around anyone who is an off-duty policeman, or government worker or whatever, unless you are 100% certain they're already doing drugs and won't turn you in.

And most of all, and I cannot stress this enough, under no circumstances are you to ever take any advice from a guy like me, because beyond caffeine, nicotene, alcohol and tylenol, I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

Never do a drug you know nothing about just because it sounds cool, or for whatever other reason. The first couple of times you do a drug should be in the company of people who've done it before and who can tell you what to expect.

Also if possible, do some research as to what that particular drug will do to your body. People have all sorts of allergies and medical problems, and different drugs react differently with SAD, depression, insomnia, appetite problems etc. Different drugs also play differently with different states of mind - for example, if you're already tired and cranky, and you take speed to pick yourself up at a party, you might get hyper and cranky. I do. It's not a pretty picture.

To recap: know what you're doing, from personal research as well as from friends who have experience. This is the be all and end all of safe drug use.

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